August 15, 2008
By Alton K. Marsh
So how is the light sport aircraft (LSA) industry doing?
From a strictly quantitative standpoint, registrations are moving at a pace of 500 per year in the United States, based on latest statistics from Bydanjohnson.com. For the first half of 2008, there were 248 placed on the FAA registry.
That is lower than the industry would like, but smaller LSA manufacturers can survive on 10 or 20 deliveries a year. And they can also sell in Europe, especially given that 17 or 18 of the 24 top-selling LSAs in the United States are made in Europe.
It is interesting to note that since LSAs started selling in the United States four years ago, two tailwheel aircraft have remained in the top five best-selling aircraft. They are the American Legend Aircraft’s Legend Cub and CubCrafters’ Sport Cub.
There have been 1,118 LSAs registered in the past four years. Of those, 214 resulted from the two Cubs, and 259 additional registrations belong to the seemingly permanent leader, Flight Design’s CT series of tricycle-gear aircraft. Tecnam, the third best seller after the CT and Legend Cub, had 92 of its tricycle-gear aircraft registered by mid-2008. That means that more than half of all U.S. registrations came from just four companies.
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